The snow that we got last week confirmed it- fall is here and winter is on the way. And while there’s a lot to love about that (warm fires, cozy drinks and brown paper packages tied up in strings)… there’s also the cold and flu season.
It hits us every year and every year I vow that I’m gonna take some real steps to boost my kids’ immunity.
So let’s get out ahead of it together this year, shall we? My favorite nutritionists from my favorite detox program, Prescribe 20, are here today to share their tried and true tricks.
Here’s Katie with the goods…
“Tis the season, folks.” Yes, it’s cold and flu season and for you parents out there, you can count on one thing – someone’s going to get sick, if not the whole damn fam.
We’d love to say we have the magic bullet so you never get sick, but as cold and flu season repeats year after year, that’s simply setting expectations a ‘lil too high.
What’s our plan? To help you get sick less and less sick. We repeat, sick less (less frequent colds and cases of flu) and less sick (lessen the symptoms and duration). That feels a bit more realistic, doesn’t it?
The “Sick Less” Plan: Daily Immune Boosting
Step 1: Tea Time
Kids always want what we’re drinking, so here’s a great evening teatime routine you can share.
Have them pick out their favorite tea cup or mug, warm up your tea elixir (recipe below), and grab a book or talk about the day’s events. This process makes them feel like a grown up all while getting some magical immune boosting ingredients.
Our favorite “tea” is this concoction…it’s literally like magic. For the kiddos we follow the same recipe (boiling down the lemon and ginger) but skip the cayenne unless your small people dig a little kick.
Fight the Cold Tonic
- 1 whole lemon, sliced into rounds
- 1-2″ knob of ginger, sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (less if you’re sensitive to heat)
- Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- Place all items except for honey in a pot with 4-6 cups of water (whatever size pot you have is fine).
- Bring to a boil and simmer for ~ 10 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, mix in your honey according to taste. Sip….sip on this stuff all winter.
Step #2: Mineral Baths for Kids
Baths are a great way to pass time in the winter, so let’s go the distance here and help their bodies ward off the bugs too.
Below is a recipe for mineral dense “bath bombs” that, once you have the simple ingredients, can be made in under 5 minutes. No joke.
Image credit: Jamie Stoia
Bath Bomb Ingredients
- 8 ounces Baking Soda (about 1 cup)
- 4 ounces Citric Acid (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) Epsom Salt
- 4 ounces Cornstarch (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons oil of choice – we like coconut oil (softened)
- 2 teaspoons witch hazel (or water) plus a little more if needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30-40 drops of Essential oils or powdered dried herbs (ginger is great)
- Combine dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, citric acid, and cornstarch) in a large bowl and mix well until combined.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil, witch hazel (or water) and vanilla extract and stir well. Add essential oils if using.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients a few drops at a time. Mix well with hands (wear gloves if you have sensitive skin). Add powdered dried herbs if using.
- Mixture should hold together when squeezed without crumbling. You may need to add slightly more witch hazel if it hasn’t achieved this consistency yet.
- Quickly push mixture into molds, greased muffin tins or any other greased container. Press in firmly and leave at least 24 hours (48 is ideal) until hardened. It will expand some and this is normal. You can push it down into the mold several times while it is drying to keep it from expanding to much. Using the metal molds will create a stronger and more effective final bath bomb.
- When dry, remove and store in airtight container or bag. Use within 2 weeks.
Here’s the deal, minerals are essential to our function but are increasingly more difficult to get with our compromised food sources. Minerals are part of a healthy immune system and can be absorbed through the skin. Hence, the magic mineral bath.
Step #3: Drops of Sunshine
Gosh, don’t you wish you could take little drops of sunshine for real? But, back to earth. Vitamin D is crucial to our existence.
For the kiddos adding 1-2 drops (1,000 – 2,000 IU’s) in their tea or smoothies is a fantastic way to keep D level supporting their bodies, specifically their immune system.
The “Less Sick” Plan: This Sniffles & Aches are Here, Now What?
Step 1: Elderberry Syrup
When the first sign of a cold or flu sets in, reach for the elderberry syrup. Black elderberries have been shown to help mitigate a full-blown cold and speed up recovery.
Elderberries naturally contain vitamins A, B and C – all of which stimulate the immune system.
Step 2: REAL chicken noodle soup (aka bone broth)
This ain’t your Campbell’s soup (sorry Campbell’s). We need the powers of true bone broth. Bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and they promote healing.
Its relatively easy to make but the amazing news is that you can buy or order real bone broth and freeze that liquid gold for when you need it. Beyond that, simply add all your favorites: carrots, celery, chicken, noodles or rice, season to your liking and you have the world’s oldest cold remedy.
Step 3: De-Stress
You’re not the only one stressed around here! We now know the power of our mind-body connection and what it’s capable of. The sooner we can teach our kids to use their own amazing gifts, the earlier they can begin practicing.
We are in love with the Healing Buddies Comfort Kit app.
Its guided imagery, breathing exercises, acupressure, and aromatherapy will help your littles to wind down, calm down and feel better. It also helps with anxiety, insomnia, pain and worries…which can all accompany not feeling well.
We love simple and easy practices to implement because there’s nothing worse than having to run to the store or attempting a project when you have a child that needs you. And at the end of the day that is what they need, YOU.
So we’ve got you, while you’ve got them. Here’s to boosting immune systems, nourishing those sweet bodies, teaching life skills, and starting some new traditions!
Thanks so much for the tips Katie!
And here’s something really great… If you guys want to get to know the team at Prescribe Nutrition and their best tips, tricks and resources to feeling healthy and energized, Prescribe 20 is 20 days just for that – feeling your best.
They are running an exceptional great sale and special holiday program (between Thanksgiving and New Year) to help you stay you and your immune system stay sane and happy for the holidays.
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